Chocolate is a well-loved sweet treat all over the world. It is a pick me upper and a comforter, it adds more texture and taste to certain dishes, and it also satisfies sugar cravings. However, we all know too well that chocolate is bad for our health. So when health experts declared that there was a certain type of chocolate that was considered healthy, the world rejoiced! Dark chocolate has since then become a popular option for the more health-conscious people who still wanted to enjoy the delicious and comforting taste of cocoa. Finally, a chocolate that we can eat that won’t make us feel guilty or make us unhealthy. But before you indulge, know that certain studies show that there are still certain cons paired with the pros of eating dark chocolate.
List of Pros of Dark Chocolate
1. It is rich in antioxidants.
It has been reported that dark chocolate contains as much as 40 grams of antioxidants per serving, making it a great source for these anti-aging substances. Aside from making us more youthful, it also prevents the premature aging of organs, resulting in a healthier and fitter body.
2. It contains mood enhancing elements.
No wonder you feel so good after indulging in your favorite sweet treat. It turns out, dark chocolate can increase the production of the happy hormones in the body.
3. It can help fight certain diseases.
Dark chocolate contains procyanidins, a class of flavonoids that are capable of preventing the growth of cancer cells in the breast. It also has methylxanthines, and along with polyphenols, they help in reducing the level of glucose in the blood, as shown in a study done on obese and diabetic rats.
4. It allows you to enjoy chocolate with less harmful effects.
This can be a healthier alternative to more processed and sugar-laden chocolates, so when you are craving for a sweet cocoa treat, dark chocolate allows you to indulge without feeling bad that you are harming your body.
List of Cons of Dark Chocolate
1. It still has sugar.
Even if dark chocolate tastes bitter it doesn’t mean it doesn’t contain any processed sugar. A 100-gram serving contains enough sugar to provide the daily recommended intake for an adult female and two-thirds for that for an adult male. And since it isn’t sweet, you can be tempted to eat more, thus increasing your sugar intake and making you more prone to diabetes, cavities, and other diseases.
2. It has a high calorie count.
The processing phase of any type of chocolate significantly increases the calorie count. A small serving of dark chocolate can contain 300 calories already, so the calories can add up real quickly.
3. It has unhealthy fats and caffeine.
Cocoa has measurable amounts of caffeine which, in large doses, can cause palpitations, insomnia, anxiety, and miscarriages among pregnant women. Dark chocolate also contains saturated fat, especially if it is made with milk chocolate, so it is best to choose varieties that are dairy-free.
4. It can be addictive.
Since dark chocolate can lift your mood, there is a tendency you will be dependent on it each time you need a boost. And as the saying goes, too much of anything can be bad for you.
In order to fully enjoy the health benefits of dark chocolate, experts advise to select organic and dairy-free versions that were manufactured using a cold process. Also, limit your intake to a small piece after dinner so you won’t be tempted to eat a lot, and eat it slowly to fully enjoy the taste and experience.
Natalie Regoli, Esq. is the author of this post and the editor-in-chief of our blog. She received her B.A. in Economics from the University of Washington and her Masters in Law from The University of Texas School of Law. In addition to being a seasoned writer, Natalie has almost two decades of experience as a lawyer and banker. If you would like to reach out to contact Natalie, then go here to send her a message.